I am a junior at Durango High school and have been competitively mountain bike racing since 6th grade, although, my true passion is Nordic skiing. I have been skiing on the Durango Nordic Ski Club since 3rd grade. Currently I am riding for Durango DEVO, and the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory bike team. I am a Colorado State champion and 2009 National Cross Country Mountain Bike Champion.
Biking and skiing have brought up many opportunities for me. For skiing I have been able to travel to Alaska, California, and Maine for Junior Olympics. I was a member of the 2009 Scandinavian Cup Team and was able to go to Norway for a couple weeks with 11 other skiers to ski and race. This coming summer I have been given the opportunity to travel to Germany and Switzerland for a bike camp where I will be able to bike and race. These experiences have helped my motivation for the sports.
When I am not biking or skiing I enjoy watercolor painting. A couple years ago I have started turning my paintings into cards to sell to help pay for my travel. I am excited to see where my athletics take me.
I raced my first World Champion Mountain Bike eventSeptember 15, 2010
I raced my first World Champion Mountain Bike event on Wednesday September 1st, and you could say that it was one that I will never forget. I did not race until 2:00pm by which it was about 90 degrees with over 60% humidity. I have never raced in those conditions and when training, I usually try my hardest not to ride when it is like that. But since I could not change the race time, I just had to go with it. Warming up, I stuffed an ice bag down my jersey to keep myself cool before the start. It helped some but not enough, I was still crazy hot. The call up to the start line was the most amazing call up I have been in. The staging area was out of sight of the start line. The announcer started to call riders names at about 5 second intervals. Once a name was called each competitor rode down the grass to the start line. During this whole time there was really dramatic music playing, it kind of reminded me of the music that was played in Harry Potter during one of the quidich matches. I was the 5th rider called up which was really exciting. Elke Brutsaert, my coach, waited for me at the start where she had a cooler full of ice and cold towels which I used to try and cool myself down before the start because I was already so hot. When the gun was shot and we started the race, everybody sprinted as hard as they could to the first turn of the course. The course started out fairly simple, but before long we started the first climb which was really steep and got super clogged up. At the top of the hill it veered off into the trees and the technical section began. Even though I rode this part in my pre-ride the trail was so congested that I had to run. About halfway through the start loop I really started to overheat and I got the chills and felt all shaky, but I ignored that and kept riding. As the race progressed the field grew apart more and more so it was much easier to ride. This course was the most technical one I have ever raced and probably one of the most technical trails I have done in general. On my second lap, I saw on the side of the trail a girl passed out with what I assumed was heat stroke. At that point the heat was starting to really get to me also. As I was riding, I was feeling very sick and light headed but every time I got off my bike to run a section that feeling intensified by five, so I tried my hardest to ride everything. By then I was not trying to make up any positions in the race but just to maintain the pace I was going. The girl that I raced with at Windham, from Chili, was riding right with me and we were going back and forth the whole time. I would get ahead on the climb and she would get me on the decent. However, on the last lap she never came by on the downhill. The finish of that race was one of the most relieving feelings ever. I was starting to get really light headed and dizzy on my last lap, making stupid mistakes and riding off the course a little. When I finished, I tried to get off of my bike but as soon as I stood up I was overwhelmed with the feeling that I was going to pass out. So I just sat on my bike for a little while Marc Gullickson, the USA Junior Team coach, was pouring bottles of cold water on me. The feeling only got worse so he called over the team doctor and the two of them helped me into a chair where I had ice and cold towels piled on me. While I was sitting the doctor informed me that I was suffering from heat stroke. I was super relaxed until my arms went numb and I could not move my fingers, after that I started to get a little bit worried. I had to lay by the finish tent about an hour with ice bags all over me. However, my body temperature was still extremely high. Therefore, I was moved back to my hotel room and put in to the bathtub with four bags of ice. After about 45 minutes of that I was finally able to stand on my own and walk around. Even though I did not get the result I wanted I was still very pleased that I finished the race in the top 20. This season turned out to be the best ones yet. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot. After some of the experiences that I had, I am now extremely motivated for next season and excited to see what happens.
Since nationalsAugust 9, 2010
Since nationals I have been going nonstop. Right after nationals I went to a Nordic ski camp in Steamboat Springs for a week. The camp was a testing camp which meant that each day there was some sort of time trial or test. After that, I needed a good rest. A few days after I got home my family and I went to Chicago for a few days to visit relatives. My mind was completely taken off of training, with shopping and boating and lots and lots of eating. Once I got home it was back to business. The past week I was helping coach a camp for elementary age kids. It was run by my team, Durango DEVO. Each day we left town at 8:00 in the morning and then drove about 30 minutes away to our little ski resort where we biked till 3:00. Since my season is not yet over I road with my coach for a couple of hours after we got back into town. It was a fun week but I am glad that it is over, and now I can start to focus on the Windham race and Worlds in Mount St Anne Canada. In less than 20 days I will be leaving for Windham NY and I am super excited to see how it turns out.
I have recently come back from a bike camp in ChamperyJune 22, 2010
I have recently come back from a bike camp in Champery, Switzerland and Albstadt, Germany. There were 6 girls and two boys who went. We spent the first week in Champery where we were greeted by spectacular views and steep, technical courses. Our pre-ride the day after we arrived did not start so well. After the first 10 minutes of riding there were four major crashes. I started them off. On the course there was a some-what of a simple drop that was possible if you went on the right line. However, I took the wrong line and did a huge endo. Thankfully the landing was very soft. When I landed on my head I just sunk into the soil. My back and neck got a little messed up but after some good stretching it went away. Right after the place that I crashed there was another very difficult corner that two others crashed on. After finally making it off of that downhill all of us were a little shaken up.
However the worst crash was yet to follow. Less than five minutes after making it off of the first hill there was another, unfortunately one of the girls crashed towards the bottom of the hill and slid head first into a tree. The sound was like that of a car wreck. Thankfully the only thing broken was her helmet. The rest of the ride went fairly smoothly.
The first races were that weekend (started on the next day). I did not race that day. Saturday’s races were for the younger groups. After going on a ride in the morning we realized that in the small area of Champery there was absolutely no flat ground or close to flat. The flattest place we found was 15% grade. We realized later into the week that the average percent grade was in the twenties.
The next day was our race. Everything about it was different than racing back at home. The biggest difference being that the amount of people in my group was about five times the size of the normal. The second biggest difference was that the starts where fast. A lot of people had told me about the starts but I guess it was just one of those things that you have to experience firsthand before you believe it. That race was one of the hardest that I have ever done. The wetness of the trail had truly added to the difficulty. Back home in Colorado it rains possibly 15 times out of the whole year so the trails are very dry and I don’t get to experience the slippery part of biking. I do not think that I have crashed so many times in one race. I was crashing on my bike, running my bike, and getting on my bike (the peddles were very wet and slippery). It also added to the excitement that the pro women where on the course at the same time as us. After an hour and a half I was done. Having no expectations from the beginning I was pretty proud with my result. I ended up ninth.
The rest of the week past with lots of riding, no matter where we went the views were the most spectacular that I have ever seen. For the last few days we were in Albstadt Germany. The course was different there. The climbs there where much steeper, but the overall riding level was less technical. We spent three days riding and perfecting the course. Going into this race I was a little more confident and thought that riding everything wouldn’t be a problem. However, I woke up to find that it had been and was continuing to rain. I cannot complain much though, that was the first day that it had rained the entire trip. The race turned out to be a blast. The amount of people watching the race was incredible and I thought that riding in the mud, slipping all around, and being very near out of control 7were a very fun combination. This race turned out to be one of the most fun I have ever done.
That race concluded our trip. After the race we went back to the hotel to pack up our bikes and then we headed to Zurich where we flew out the next morning.
I learned a lot from my trip and have a new level of motivation to continue my athletics. If I ever have the chance to go back again I will take it in a second.
The bike seasonJune 4, 2010
The bike season is starting to pass by very quickly. I already have 3 races under my belt and about to have two more in the next 11 days. The past weekend I raced in the Iron Horse, which is a road race from Durango Colorado to Silverton Colorado, 47 miles of riding over two mountain passes climbing up 5,700 feet. Out of the past 3 times that I have done this race this was the first year that there was no snow or rain, which made the race a little bit more enjoyable. Two years ago the race got canceled do to five inches of snow on the ground. Giving that there were only two girls in my age group we were sent with the junior boys. However there are so many people racing it does not get lonely. Out of the course of the 47 miles the whole road is packed with riders. The excitement and anticipation of the race adds a different look to the event.
Currently, I am on my way to Switzerland and Germany for a junior mountain bike camp. I will be there for just under two weeks. We are going to do two races and lots of riding, I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
Well I have to board the plane,
After the end of another Nordic skiing seasonMay 11, 2010
After the end of another Nordic skiing season it was time for biking to start once again. So far this season I have experienced changes that I had no idea that I would be experiencing. The first becoming a member of the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory bike team, the second getting two new awesome bike coaches, and the third change, getting a new bike. I went for the switch of a hard tail to a full suspension Specialized Era.
The day that I got my bike we were heading off to Fruita, Colorado for the first race of the season. My first ride on my new bike - pre-ride, second ride - the time trial. I had never really been on a full suspension bike before and there were many, many differences that I was not fully prepared for. Also, the lack of knowledge of knowing how to work the Brain suspension system made that race one I will not forget very quickly. During the warm up my coach and I sought some help from another rider to help me adjust the shock so that I would not get bucked as much. As it turned out he was a mechanic, and adjusted some knobs. The pre race preparations preceded as normal, I finished my warm up, went to the start, and was off. The first part of the race was a climb. I was in heaven, my bike felt so smooth and fast, the temperature was perfect, and I was reminded again how much I love biking. However, that did not last the whole time. The downhill was soon approaching. A lot of the course was rolling like a pump track. I should have noted every time I went over a bump my rear wheel left the ground a fair amount but, I was having too much fun to really worry. The next thing I knew I was going over a drop, what followed was I was doing one of the biggest endos in my history of riding and that I was screwed. This was one of those crashes that take forever to get over with. It felt like I was flying over my bike for at least 10 seconds, even though it was probably only one. I finally, landed on the ground and all I could think about was, my new bike has got to be broken, but nope, right after that thought it landed right on me. It was smart, landing on the softest thing in the trail full of rocks. It took a while to get back on and keep riding. But I did, probably not as fast as I normally would, but I finished.
The next day was the cross-country race. My leg was super stiff and swollen from the crash before, but when that race started the pain kind of went away. The night before I made more changes to the suspension so it was way less bucking and more controllable, therefore this race went much better.
I have all my dials and pressures set now and my new Specialized is my favorite bike I have ever ridden!
I look forward to a new great bike season!!
September 15, 2010
August 9, 2010
June 22, 2010
June 4, 2010
May 11, 2010